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March 07, 2019

Mayor Kenney's proposed budget includes $200 million to repave hundreds of miles of city streets

City Council has until the end of June to approve the spending plan

Streets Department
potholes philadelphia streets Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A pedestrian jumps over a large pothole on Fairmount Avenue. Mayor Jim Kenney's 2019 budget proposal includes millions earmarked to improve and repair the city's roadways.

Mayor Jim Kenney proposed spending $200 million in city money on repaving and constructing Philadelphia's streets, as part of his overall $5 billion 2020 fiscal year budget and five-year spending plan to City Council released on Thursday.

Under the city's Capital Program — which is a plan for investing in Philly's physical and technological infrastructure — the mayor is looking to invest in things like streets, public facility renovations, sanitation, parks, water, and transit.

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Streets are getting the largest single investment of the spending budget, at more than $200 million over five years the will, in part, be used to repave and repair city roadways notoriously littered with potholes. It would account for almost one-fifth of the total capital program, and by the fifth year of the investment, Philadelphia would be paving and constructing 130 miles of roads annually.

Previously, the city reported the Streets Department had received $28 million annually, on average, since 2014. The new budget proposes $43.2 million in the 2020 fiscal year, increasing up to $56 million annually in later years. That'll bring the department's total five-year budget up to $315.4 million in city tax-supported funds.

Resurfacing and reconstruction will specifically be given $27.9 million in the first year of the program, eventually totaling $207 million toward resurfacing local roads by 2025. That's the single largest investment in the five-year plan. The goal is to repave 131 miles of local roads annually at the end of five years.

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Kenney's proposed budget is also a victory for Vision Zero and bicycle advocates. The Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia first advocated for the paving of more than 130 miles in the city back in 2014. Under the proposed budget in the streets category, $14 million will also go toward traffic safety improvements associated with Vision Zero over five years.

City Council members must pass a budget and five-year plan by the end of June. 

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